Monday, 29 June 2015

Dreamland Pleasure Park - Margate

Marine Terrace


Back in the late 70's and early 80's I can remember family holidays in Margate really well. Travelling down from Shepperton in the Vauxhall Velox and spending the week in Ocean View Holiday flats on Buenos Ayres. The hours spent in the half penny arcade on the beach and the walk around the slimy edge of the boating pool. Visiting the joke shop in Arlington Square and squirting plenty of ketchup over my chips from the Wimpy on Marine Parade.

 Nothing sticks in my mind more than Dreamland though, I loved that place and especially the Scenic Railway. The sound of the car being pulled up the lift hill by the thick chain, the dragons heads on the front of the cars and the brakeman perched up on his seat, I used to think it had to be the best job in the world! My dad was so fascinated with it he built a small straight rollercoaster along the side of our house using fork lift truck pallets! Other rides that stick in my mind were the water chute, the caterpillar rollercoaster and the river caves.

30 years later and having followed the progress of Dreamland online, I'm finally here again standing underneath that stunning art deco cinema sign. It's great to be back and I couldn't wait to take a look inside! 

The Emporium is on your left as you enter, you can buy souvenirs and sweets here as well as a number of items made from salvaged wood from the Scenic Railway.

Next you come to a large amusement arcade, there's even an original Space Invaders machine here. Just beyond the arcade is the Roller Disco, I had a go with my wife and was loving it until I slammed down on my bum!

The staff by the entrance dressed in their 1950's attire sung little rhymes to us as we made our way to the ticket booth. All the staff we encountered here seemed to be really friendly and passionate about their work, this made it feel even more special.

The Dreamland skyline was certainly looking impressive and we couldn't have hoped for better weather than this.

The Crazy Mouse started quite smoothly with a couple of drops, the final section will send you into a spinning frenzy, be sure to brace yourself for braking at the end though! 

I hadn't been on the rockets for years so we headed there next.

Each rocket was named after the signs of the zodiac and looked amazing with traditional paintwork. Push the lever inside down and the rocket shoots up in the air, let the lever go and you come back down to earth again, great fun!

The Ferris wheel was smaller than the one I remember here back in the early 80's but still impressive and slightly faster too.

You could get an excellent view from the top of the Ferris wheel, a large slide had been installed beside the Scenic Railway.

 Another old favourite of mine was here, The Twister.

 In the far corner was another classic ride, the Chair-o-plane.

 Later we went on the Helter Skelter, remember to keep your arms tucked in though or it could get painful as my wife found out!

The Caterpillar was a firm favourite when I was a kid, we queued up and took a ride on it again. I'm sure there used to be a big apple on this ride many years ago though.

After a ride on the Gallopers we headed out for a walk along the seafront. Get your hand stamped and you can re-enter the park throughout the day.

The Wall of death is a temporary attraction but well worth a look if you ever catch it on your travels.

Watch as the stunt riders race around the edge getting incredibly close to the top, an amazing display!

The entertainment staff were breaking into song and dance all over the park, they seemed to be having a great time!

The Kiss me quick like a number of other rides wasn't open yet.

 My wife desperately wanted to win a giant pink doughnut cushion, we both tried but just couldn't manage to keep two balls in the bucket. We did see two other people win though so it is possible.

I love this vintage ice cream van, I had to try one.

The rainbow cone looked and tasted great!

Plenty of food is available throughout Dreamland.

 Each food outlet offers something different and has a quirky name.

These bear and honey pot bins were scattered throughout the park.

Some nice theming beside the Dream Cars.

Plenty of things to keep the little ones amused.

Why not take a rest on a deck chair, the perfect spot to enjoy an ice cream.

The floor of the arcade was covered in pennies, nice touch.

 The most fascinating part of Dreamland for me was still closed, the grade ll listed Scenic Railway. It was looking incredible though having been beautifully restored back to its former glory.

This solid beast has been beautifully rebuilt and should be up and running again soon.

As it wasn't open in time for our visit we were given free tickets to the park for when it has opened, we will definitely be back!

I was really impressed with what I'd seen here. This isn't Alton Towers and it isn't trying to be, instead it's a trip down memory lane and opportunity to enjoy the park as it was throughout the decades. I can see it being a huge success as it grows and this is just what Margate needed!

1 comment:

  1. This place looks amazing! Would love to go if it were just a little closer to home... Loved the special feature and thanks for all your writing, it makes me just a little bit more judgemental of all my breakfasts :)